We are very excited to let you know that the very first new Jeanneau 51’s, hull number #011 has arrived and is just going through the final stages of commissioning. Announced just days in advance of the 2016 Sydney International Boat Show (SIBS) the new 51 drew considerable attention as it packs so many of the elements of the magnificent 54 launched in 2016, but in a more compact package.
We had the enviable job of sailing the 51 from Sydney Harbour to Pittwater and first impressions are that it’s a cruising yacht that has a very easily driven hull, yet is beautifully balanced. This is backed up by a report just out in the US ‘Sailing’ magazine. In the words of the reviewer “Even when we found ourselves bucking a fair bit of Gulf Stream current, we kept at it, employing wind power as much as possible till our breeze finally disappeared completely. The boat is that much fun to sail”
The cockpit layout has received considerable thought and this makes it a very easy yacht to sail. At anchor, or on the marina the cockpit comes into its own with the recessed seating forward under the spray-dodger, and enormous cockpit table with ice-bin or fridge within, and it feels well protected and comfortable.
Under sail the yacht feels extremely stiff, even before you get into wind strengths where the modern hull chine takes effect. It has quite a lot more sail area for its displacement than the 54, which was raved about last year when it was reviewed by local media, so expect a yacht that will chew up the miles effortlessly.
Down below the feeling of space is amazing, with good headroom, but not too much so that it is not impossible to reach the over-head hatches or hand-holds. There is abundant light and generous hull windows for great views.
The wrap-around galley has a conventional style fridge, storage that is easily accessed and immediately aft of it is a brilliant pantry (or a 3rd head) with additional refrigeration if required. A very clever use of this space.
As on the 54 the influence throughout of super-yacht stylist and interior design team Andrew Winch Design is very apparent, with lots of nice touches that really lift this yacht above the norm. A generous lounge on the port side of the saloon feels very luxurious and faces a large U-shaped dinette. The master cabin is forward, but set well back from the bow where there is a very large bow storage compartment accessed from the deck. Remarkably the dimensions are very similar to the 54, and in fact the ensuite head and shower are actually the same. The hull windows right forward are a master stroke allowing views while sitting up in bed. A nice touch.
There is a very generous guest cabin aft to port with a really impressive ensuite, while to starboard there is a 3rd cabin, which can be optioned for storage, or combined storage and cabin.
The layout is deceptively simple, but when compared to the Sun Odyssey 519 this feels like a much bigger yacht. The layout variations all hinge around the aft starboard quarter, so the rest of the yacht remains the same. With a proper forward facing nav’ station and U-shaped galley adjacent to the companionway there is little to dislike about the layout of this yacht. With finishing touches that lift it about the norm, but pricing that is highly competitive it’s not hard to understand why it is already a highly successful design.
Performance Boating and our sister Jeanneau dealers around the Country will be hosting an official launch of the 51 immediately prior to opening hours of this year’s Sydney Show on Friday the 5th of August. If you would like to be included on the invitation list please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on (02) 9979 9755.